Origins: Chapter 1
The rain was relentless in its attack on the small mountain town. A teenage girl ran through the mud and water, hunched over to protect the precious bundle in her arms. She reached her destination; a small shack on the outskirts belonging to the town drunk. She rushed onto the porch and knocked on the door, wiping the water from her eyes.
The door swung open violently revealing a disheveled brute of a man who was well past his prime. He scowled at the girl who forced him to open his door.
“Sir,” she yelled over the deluge. She held out her arms revealing a small face wrapped in drenched blankets.
“Why are you here?” he growled, “get out of here!”
“He’s yours!” she insisted, urging him to take the baby.
The man just stared at her with confusion and anger.
“You paid for a woman nine months ago, now she’s dead, infection from childbirth…”
“Why can’t the rest of you whores take ’im?!”
“Owner says it’s bad for business sir, ‘e says we can’t have a baby cryin’ while we’re working. He says you need you to take him. I- I wish it were different, for the boy’s sake.”
“I don’t know how to take care of a baby!” he hollered.
“I’m sorry sir…” the girl said as she forced the bundle into his arms and ran off.
“Wait!” he called after her, “does he even have a goddamn name?!”
But the rain was too loud, the girl kept on running. The man looked at the nameless baby in his arms with disdain and went back inside.
“Well, what’s his name?”
“Whatever you goddamn please, lady” the man retorted, “just get him away from me. I’ve spent too much time tryin’ to get this far East as it is.”
“What’s your last name then?”
“Why do you need that, woman?”
“He needs a last name, for the record if anything else,” she said.
“It’s Becker then,” he gruffed.
The orphanage maid looked at the thin two-year-old boy sitting dutifully in a chair against the wall. He sadly looked right at home in the decrepit surroundings of the orphanage. He was humming quietly to himself and twiddling his small thumbs. “We can take him of course-” she paused, “You haven’t given him a name for two years?”
“I haven’t cared enough to give it a thought,” The man scowled as he turned out the door.
The little boy watched as the man stepped out. He got up and hobbled over to the shut door, his thin arms reaching for the handle in a vain attempt to follow his father.
The maid knelt next to the boy who had just watched his father walk out on him. His eyes were wide, his cheeks red, and his bottom lip was trembling. “You’re gonna stay with us now okay? Not with that awful man anymore,” she tried to use the most comforting voice she owned, even though she knew what awaited him in this building wouldn’t be much better than where he came from.
The boy nodded with big tears in his eyes.
“Now about a name…” the maid looked around the room for inspiration. Her eyes fell on a dime novel one of the boys had gotten their hands on a while ago but has since been taken away from them. It was about a real-life outlaw with anything but a real story inside. The title read: “Jim Boy Callahan’s Final Stand”
“Hey, Jim. You seem like a Jim. how ya like that name?” the maid asked.
The boy looked at her with round, afraid eyes and nodded quietly.
“Okay Jim, follow me, I’ll show you where the boys sleep” she held out her hand.
Jim looked at it with confusion, but after a few moments, he placed his frail hand in hers.